The Ohio State University Football Recruiting Class of 2012
01. Warren Ball
- Columbus DeSales; 6' 2", 200 lbs, Rivals 4*, #15 RB, #228 overall; Scout 4*, #21 RB, #196 overall
02. De'van Bogard
- Cleveland Glenville; 6' 1", 175 lbs; Rivals 4*, #14 S; Scout 4*, #24 S, #292 overall
03. Jacoby Boren
- Pickerington Central; 6' 2", 270 lbs; Rivals 3*, #17 OG; Scout 3*, #81 OG
04. Taylor Decker
- Vandalia Butler; 6' 8", 300 lbs; Rivals 4*, #26 OT, #215 overall; Scout 4*, #14 OT, #77 overall
05. Kyle Dodson
- Cleveland Heights; 6' 6", 315 lbs; Rivals 4*, #20 OT, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #24 OT, #181 overall
06. Bri'onte Dunn
- Canton Glen Oak; 6' 1", 220 lbs; Rivals 4*, #10 RB, #136 overall; Scout 5*, #7 RB, #32 overall
07. Patrick Elflein
- Pickerington North; 6' 3", 285 lbs; Rivals 3*, unranked; Scout 3*, #31 OG
08. Frank Epitropoulos
- Upper Arlington; 6' 3", 195 lbs, 4.47 forty; Rivals 3*, #76 WR; Scout 3*, #61 WR
09. Cardale Jones
- Cleveland Glenville and Fork Union; 6' 5", 230 lbs, 4.93 forty; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*
10. Jamal Marcus
- Durham (North Carolina) Hillside; 6' 2", 219 lbs, 4.6 forty; Rivals 3*, #35 WDE ; Scout 3*, #64 DE
11. Najee Murray
- Steubenville; 5' 11", 172 lbs, 4.41 forty; Rivals 3*, #27 CB; Scout 4*, #20 CB, #253 overall
12. Joey O'Connor
- Windsor, Colorado; 6' 4", 295 lbs; Rivals 4*, #15 OT, #87 overall; Scout 3*, #17 OG
13. David Perkins
- South Bend (Indiana) Washington; 6' 2", 209 lbs, 4.43 forty; Rivals 4*, #11 ATH, #155 overall; Scout 4*, #22 OLB, #212 overall
14. Joshua Perry
- Lewis Center Olentangy; 6' 3", 225 lbs; Rivals 4*, #10 OLB, #142 overall; Scout 4*, #9 OLB, #108 overall
15. Se'Von Pittman
- Canton McKinley; 6' 5", 250 lbs; Rivals 4*, #8 WDE, #81 overall; Scout 4*, #9 DE, #58 overall
16. Tyvis Powell
- Bedford; 6' 4", 185 lbs; Rivals 3*, #36 CB; Scout 3*, #37 S
17. Armani Reeves
- West Roxbury (Massachusetts) Catholic Memorial); 5' 10", 185 lbs, 4.41 forty; Rivals 4*, #17 CB, #213 overall; Scout 4*, #6 CB, #79 overall
18. Luke Roberts
- Lancaster; 6' 2", 225 pounds, 4.62 forty; Rivals 3*, unranked; Scout 3*, #25 MLB
19. Tommy Schutt
- Glen Ellyn (Illinois) Glenbard West; 6' 3", 301 lbs; Rivals 4*, #5 DT, #52 overall; Scout 5*, #5 DT, #48 overall
20. Ricquan Southward
- Lakeland (Florida) Lakeland; 6' 2", 190; Rivals 3*, #62 WR; Scout 3*, #113 WR
21. Noah Spence
- Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Bishop McDevitt; 6' 4", 240 lbs; Rivals 5*, #2 DE, #9 overall; Scout 5*, #2 DE, #5 overall
22. Blake Thomas
- Cleveland St. Ignatius; 6' 4", 240 lbs, 4.8 forty; Rivals 3*, #17 TE; Scout 3*, #22 TE
23. Michael Thomas
- Fork Union; 6' 4", 203 lbs; Rivals 4*; Scout 4*
24. Adolphus Washington
- Cincinnati Taft; 6' 5", 240 lbs; Rivals 4*, #3 WDE, #36 overall; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #10 overall
25. Camren Williams
- West Roxbury (Massachusetts) Catholic Memorial; 6' 2", 215 lbs; Rivals 4*, #7 MLB, #162 overall; Scout 4*, #16 OLB, #172 overall
- Simply an amazing finish. I thought that Meyer would have quite a bit of success with the Ohio kids, because most of them had some natural affinity for the Buckeyes, and he did by securing Dunn and landing Pittman, Decker, and Dodson. But the magic he worked with the out-of-state kids in such a short time was unbelievable, signing prospects from Pennsylvania (Spence), Illinois (Schutt), Indiana (Perkins), Massachusetts (Williams and Reeves), North Carolina (Marcus), and Colorado (O'Connor). Never seen anything like it at Ohio State ... but expect more of the same next year.
... Nothing can remove the pain of the last year, but this run comes close. This is merely a brief glimpse of an entire staff that absolutely loves recruiting. The best is still ahead.
... Quite a finish to what looked like a very down year (for all sorts of reasons) for recruiting nuts. There just aren't a ton of words to describe it. I was awestruck. To finish the way this staff did in 2 months time is nothing short of amazing. Coach Meyer is one of the best in the business. Rembrandt definitely hasn't lost his paintbrush. Also, major props to Luke Fickell for holding things together and keeping us in a position with guys for Coach Meyer to come in and lock them up.
... First off, OSU owes Coach Luke Fickell a debt of gratitude for doing what he could to hold together a program in the grips of a bad situation. But what a difference a few months and an Urban Meyer can make. What he did, starting on Day 1, and the class he closed with is the stuff of legend. This staff, at times incomplete but never complacent, had nine weeks to salvage what was one of the darkest chapters in OSU recruiting brought upon by one of the darkest chapters in OSU football history. Coach Meyer (thank you Tim May) and his staff quickly identified areas of need and attacked, with Mark Pantoni organizing the charge. It will be amazing to see what Coach Meyer and this staff will be able to do with a full year to recruit and no bowl ban hovering over their heads.
- Considering that the Dream Team defensive line (Spence, Schutt, Washington, Pittman) might already be better than the line that took most of the snaps for the Buckeyes last year (Simon, Hankins, Goebel, Bellamy), it would have to be one of those four. Noah Spence is the highest rated (consensus top-10 prospect) and fills the biggest need (speed edge rusher), so I'll go with him ... but the other three should also see early action.
... I have to go with the Diesel. Adolphus Washington will immediately make LBs and DBs better.
... For me it's Brionte Dunn. I was thrilled that Coach Meyer was able to solidify his commitment. Getting a jump on his freshman year by coming in in January is huge. Will have all spring to compete. In what looks to be an open race for the RB job, I think he's got a chance to make a big impact.
... Spence is the easy pick because he brings something this program simply doesn't have on its current roster. But I am going to say one of the Buckeyes' last verbal commitments, Jamal Marcus. The LB play was something that bothered me all year and clearly was a position of focus for Coach Meyer and the staff. Severely underrated by the recruiting networks, Marcus shows the speed, size and ability to be the type of strong side LB that this team sorely lacked this year. The only question is how quickly can he learn the Buckeye's defensive scheme. I see a starting LB corps in 2013 of Shazier, Grant and Marcus.
Most Star Potential
- Lots of guys could earn this distinction, but I'll go with Bri'onte Dunn, who looks like the next great Buckeye power back in the tradition of Beanie Wells, Maurice Clarett, Eddie George, Keith Byars, Tim Spencer, John Brockington, Jim Otis, and Bob Ferguson.
... Fans love the big plays and Noah Spence has the potential to become an elite pass rusher. Fans are ready for this team to get back to punishing QBs. This kid can hopefully deliver that.
... Have to agree with Mr. Red and go Noah Spence here. Freak athlete that will spend a ton of time in opposing backfields over his career in Columbus. Has that speed off the edge that defensive coaches drool over. High draft pick written all over him.
... I'll say Spence as well. He's got the talent, the motor, the work ethic, etc. He has all the makings of a future first rounder. The true SEC speed rusher OSU has lacked.
The Surest Thing
- Jacoby Boren. He will bust his butt, knock your block off, do whatever it takes, and overcome the odds to earn a starting position, just like his two older brothers.
... Taylor Decker. The progress shown from Junior to Senior year is a sign of just how good this kid will be. He will also get a trial by fire sooner than later now that redshirts are gone in Columbus.
... The Diesel. Adolphus Washington will be a beast from the moment he steps on campus. His combination of size, skill, and athleticism isn't found very much. Built like a brick house with redwood tree-trunks as his base. Supremely powerful yet quick and light on his feet. Will be one of the top DL in the B1G over the course of the next 4 years.
... Adophus Washington. Urban made mention to big athletes...especially those big-time football recruits who he can see play basketball. Adolphus would have likely been a D1 basketball recruit if not for his football potential. And if he can't come in and have an impact right away, there is no doubt in my mind this kid will work his tail off to get on the field.
- Kyle Dodson. I'm not sure that Ohio State ever led this race until the final day. On Tuesday night, he was a Trojan; on Wednesday morning, he was a Buckeye. It doesn't matter where you start, it's where you finish.
... With Taylor Decker and the previous staff, the bridges to Columbus were obliterated. However, recruiting is a new world with this staff. Decker reaffirmed to Notre Dame soon after Urban's hiring, but it didn't take him long to switch once Coach Meyer hired two Irish staffers. This one was dead in the water.
... Honestly, for me it was Brionte Dunn. Could have sworn he was bound for that team up north.
... All three are good answers but the only one who took an official visit and still had me concerned was Dodson so that's who I'll go with.
- Offensive guard Joey O'Connor, a big, mean, high motor kid who is raw and one-dimensional (he played in a triple-option attack in high school). Once he refines his technique and masters the art of pass blocking, he should eventually develop into an all B1G caliber player.
... Jamal Marcus. Natural instincts and elite hips. Once this kid is in a scheme and polished up instead of just being the best athlete (and baddest man on the block), he could dominate.
... Taylor Decker. Keeps getting better (and bigger) each year. Another big guy that's quick and athletic on the basketball court. Huge potential at LT.
... I'm going to go with Joey O'Connor as well. I have ZERO doubt this kid will be starting at guard for OSU in the next couple of years. I really feel like his film didn't get the hype it deserved. Great feet and hands and shows tremendous athleticism for his size. And this kid's ability to finish blocks will make him extremely popular during his time in Columbus
- Frank Epitropoulos has excellent size (6' 3", 195 lbs), superior athleticism (4.38 forty, 41" vertical jump), and versatility (can play wide receiver, safety, and punter). Not the next Percy Harvin, but could be another Louis Murphy.
... Najee Murray's film could likely get him assault charges. This kid is a ballhawk and looks to send folks to the showers early.
... Jamal Marcus. Not highly rated as some others, but his film speaks for itself. Great size and speed combo. Could end up being the highest drafted of all the LB's in this class.
... Ricquan Southward. Another player whose film I thought was undervalued as he was overshadowed at Lakeland until this season. I think he could be a big time steal. Great combination of size and speed and can really run after the catch. Great in the air as well.
- Same as last year - Cardale Jones. I just don't see him being starting material at Ohio State. By the time Brax graduates, his heir apparent should be in place ... but it won't be Jones.
... It really depends on who you ask when it comes to Patrick Elflein. The kid is nasty, relentless, and will work his tail off...but will it be enough once the Meyer recruiting really takes off?
... Blake Thomas. Very good football player, but is he the right fit for this offense?
... Tyvis Powell. Love the kid but he seems too tall for me to be a natural corner and is he physical enough to be a safety? If he ends up at safety will he be another Nate Salley or another Orhian Johnson?
- Taylor Decker. Jim Tressel refused to offer him. Urban Meyer made him his number one priority. Two great football minds at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Which one will be proven right?
... Tyvis Powell. Where will he end up? He swears he is a 6'4" CB.
... Josh Perry. Is he an OLB? Is he a LEO? Is he a TE? I think he has the potential to be very good at all of them. I like him best as an Aaron Hernandez-type athlete at TE.
... I'll say Mike Thomas. So little was known about him before we found out he was likely to be suiting up for OSU. Did the extra year of prep school better prepare him to contribute early at a school that desperately needs help at the WR position?
The One Who Got Away
- Remember when you were freaking out that we lost Greg McMullen and LaTroy Lewis? Ohio State filled every need and almost every want with a blue chip player, but Jameis Winston would have been the ultimate luxury in this class.
... Demetrious Cox would have been a solid addition.
... Coach Meyer did a good job of getting a lot of guys back into the fold when it looked like some big fish were going to get away. Adding a hitter at safety like Cox would have been very nice.
... Kalis. That one still stings, even more so because of what it means to the rivalry.
What This Class Most Lacks
- Stud running back ... check. Offensive linemen, especially tackles ... check. Speed and athleticism in the defensive front seven ... check. A cornerback who can contribute from day one ... check. Meyer got just about everything on his wish list, except perhaps a real enforcer at safety (think Reggie Nelson or Major Wright). Look for Coach Meyer to get that guy in the class of 2013 - Dymonte Thomas, anyone?
... For now, it lacks the playmaker...for now.
... Two spots stick out to me. Game-breaking WR and star quality QB. It's possible the former could be checked off in the near future, so I'll focus on QB. Coach Meyer will start bringing in a star-level QB nearly every season. It's what he does. Look for 2 in the next class.
... A true difference maker in a spread-style offense and the return game. But OSU is still Digging deep for one more player to fill that spot (did I just capitalize that "D" by accident? My bad).